Cooking in Pono captures the essence of ‘ono (delicious) local foods shared in Hawai‘i paired with inspiring stories about healing, growing, learning, and living in pono (excellence).

Author LiAnn Uyeda explores the connection between cooking and living in a way that is good and right. Cooking in pono means to cook with a passion for giving and helping—a way of living that Hawaiian describe as pono, goodness, uprightness, and excellence. As a lomilomi practitioner who helps people from all walks of life in their healing journey, LiAnn has found food not only delights the senses but nurtures the soul and can help direct ones’ journey.

These recipes from family and friends are offered alongside stories of wisdom and strength making Cooking in Pono not just a culinary journey, but a spiritual one—and one filled with laughter and joy. The recipes and the food are meant to be empowering—feeding the belly and the soul.

“Someone told me I remind them of Old Hawai‘i. To me that means living in aloha. Saying hello to people you don’t know, helping, sharing, and respecting yourself and all around you. I have assisted many in my healing practice for over twenty years and share some of my life’s journey along with my families recipes and Hawaiian concepts to living a better life today. This is my first adventure, please join me for the ride.” 

—LiAnn Lilinoe Uyeda 



Let’s Eat Dessert First

Pono vs. Pilikia Energy / Energy Bars 

Koho Pono: Choose Wisely / ABC Cake

Communication Blackout / Black Russian Cake

Stuck on Words / Peanut Butter Cookies 

Time to Jell / Jell-O Cheesecake 

Chill, Jiggle, and Gel / Rainbow Jell-O 

Trash the Pilikia / Garbage Cookies

Clean Out Your Fridge / Refrigerator Cookies 

You Are Worth More Than Bread Crumbs / Bread Pudding

Puka” Means Hole, Heal the Hole in Your Soul / Pink Puka Cake 

Delightful Layers of Life / Four-Layer Delight 

We Need to Get Pruned / Prune Mui 

Let Go My Ego! / Belgium Waffles

Everyday is a Holiday! / Christmas Shortbread Cookies 

Be Your Best Chip / Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Th-th-that’s All, Folks! / Carrot Cake

Be Corny! / Cornbread 

Don’t Sugar Coat Your Emotions / M&M Cookies 

Lemon In Love / Lemon Bars 

Love: The Spice of Life / Spice Prune Cake 


Made with Aloha / Ho‘i‘o Salad

You’re Hot or You’re Not / Hot Nacho Dip / Cold Nacho Dip 

Invest in Your Own Party / Party Mix